Ivan Vrgoč and santinis-Produktion – Alles muss glänzen – The Homemaker

Ivan Vrgoč ( Photo: Jasna Lovrinčević)

Ivan Vrgoč ( Photo: Jasna Lovrinčević)

The actor and producer Ivan Vrgoč and his production company santinis – Produktion in Theater Kurfürstendamm in Berlin will set new performance Alles muss glänzen – Homemaker by American author Noah Haidle, honored by Theater Heute as the best foreign theater play in Germany in the year 2015. The premiere will be on February 24, 2017. The main role has been taken over by the leading German actress Maria Furtwängler, who also starred in Rumors, Rumors…, the first, very successful Santinis production in the year 2013.

Director Ilan Ronen works with Vrgoc and his santinis-Produktion for the second time. He directed “Eine Familie” two years ago which was the the first performace produced by santinis-Produktion nominated for the Berlin Friedrich Luft Prize. Author Noah Haidle has expressed a desire to write a stage play especially for santinis-Produktion. The artists trust and confidence in Vrgoc work as well as recognition of his work in just three years since he established his company, speak a lot about producer Ivan Vrgoč, his knowledge and his good feeling to choose a good theater play, which will move the audience, make it laugh and challenge it to think over. On the December 5, 2016 I spoke with Ivan Vrgoč about his new production and his work. He was not only in the middle of preparation for the premiere of Alles muss glänzen, but also he was in his busy schedule regarding the arrangements for the next shows and for a series of artistic evenings Santinis & Friends.

Noah Haidle Especially for Santinis-Produktion

Jasna Lovrinčević: “Why have you decided to produce Alles muss glänzen – The Homemaker?”
Ivan Vrgoč: “A play by Noah Haidle has received a Theater Heute Avord and we will produce the first performance in Berlin. So far the play has been shown in Hanover and in Switzerland in a small theater. We have received the rights for Berlin. The writer Noah Haidle will come from the United States to Berlin. He will be with us in rehearsals and at the premiere and after that he is going to write a theater play particulary for us. It’s all very exciting.”

Jasna Lovrinčević: “What has particularly motivated author Noah Haidle to write specifically for you?”
Ivan Vrgoč: “We started a conversation with him about this play. He was in Germany, we met with him twice: he, our dramatist and I. He found that very nice, we were a good company, it was a good “chemistry” between us. He will come from the USA to stay with us for three weeks in rehearsals. The idea to write to us came through our conversation as sometimes happens when you know each other well. We were a good company, so we had an idea that after our premiere he would write exclusively for us under a contract.”

Jasna Lovrinčević: “Das the author Noah Haidle already have the subject for a new play?”
Ivan Vrgoč: “We haven’t talked about it. We are going to imagine a theme which is interesting for us, and he will begin to write a play next year.”

Jasna Lovrinčević: “The Homemaker-Alles muss glänzen has been performed in Hanover with a lot of surrealist elements?”
Ivan Vrgoč: ” The play is written like that (with surrealist elements), the figures in the play are also like that, but they are real people, they are characters with real emotions. In our performance it will be the water on stage, but we are going more to the realism. Regarding the performance in Hanover, we have the other actors, other performance, we have another approach. Director ist Ilan Ronen. He is the main leader of the National Theatre in Tel Aviv. He already directed Eine Familie for us. He works for the second time for us.”

Maria Furtwängler – Leading Role

In Alles muss glänzen – Homemaker, leading role has Maria Furtwängler, the most popular stars of TV series Tatort. The beautiful actress Maria Furtwängler and Ivana Vrgoč have cooperated since they attended the course by the renowned American acting coach Larry Moss in Berlin. They played together in the first Santinis production “Rumours Rumours … ” in the year 2013. This performance has been the most successful productions of all time in the Theatre am Kurfürstendamm in Berlin and it was the highest attended performance in Germany at the time of its presentations.

Jasna Lovrinčević: “Could you please say more about the cooperation with actress Maria Furtwängler?”
Ivan Vrgoč: “We met at course by couch Larry Moss in the year 2012 and all course participants decided to make a play together. We gathered together and also founded Santinis. We had a very successful performance “Rumours Rumours …” in 2013. We have stayed in friendly contact. When I was reading the Alles muss glänzen I thought she would be very good for the leading role of Rebcca, so I sent her proposal and text. She has read it and has fallen in love with it. So, we agreed to work together for the second time. After the first show, “Rumours Rumours …” she said, if we do the theater again, she would be with us again. We stayed constantly in touch and now, finally we have found a suitable play.”

Upcoming Events

Jasna Lovrinčević: “This is your fifth productions. Until now there have been two comedies, “Rumours Rumours …” and “Eine Familie”. The other two performances, “Abgesoffen” by Carlos Eugenio Lopez with the current theme of refugees and migration and “Disgraced” by Ayad Akhtar with the theme of political correctness, both are dealing with serious social issues with political connotations.”

Ivan Vrgoč: “Alles muss glänzen – Homemaker is not just a comedy, it is more in the style of David Lynch as a bad dream. It’s really funny, but it is quite dramatic. The point is that the whole world shakes, that something is wrong, something is going on that need to be watched carefully. There are plenty of biblical contexts, big water comes, flooding, where one look whether the world will survive or not. This is the theme of the play, but limited to one family who seeks happiness in it. Even Eine Familie was a social theme, but there were a lot to laugh, but also a lot of pain, a good recipe for a night out, to think about and to laugh.”

Jasna Lovrinčević: “Abgesoffen by Carlos Eugenio Lopez with the theme of refugees and Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar with the theme of political correctness were almost like the forerunners of reality to come. Is the audience ready for these kinds of topics? ”
Ivan Vrgoč: “In any other theater it is. The last production was difficult because we hired theater Kurfürstendamm, known for its light (boulevard) comedies, where is difficult to find an audience. And now, in a new production with Maria Furtwängler, a very popular actress, this is not a big risk. The play will begin in late February, we started selling tickets a month ago and we’ve already sold over 3,000 tickets. For us it is always better to make a new topic. The audience is mature, of course. The themes of our plays are not about imaginary subjects, we all deal with these topics every day; we read, or feel, or see something. Every day these topics are here, just we do not talk about it through politics, but through people or family as a metaphor, what is beyond that. But the themes are about that what everyone can feel: How has your life been till now ? What have I done? Is my life good or not? Have I fulfilled my wishes, what did I think about it when I was young? I’ m older now, have I taken path what I am now considering as wrong, or am I going right way now? Am I really happy with my life? This is usually the tipe of reflection which each of us sometimes ask yourself from time to time.”


Since September 2016 santinis-Produktion has begun a new production Santinis & Friends.

Ivan Vrgoč (Photo: Jasna Lovrinčević)

Ivan Vrgoč (Photo: Jasna Lovrinčević)

Jasna Lovrinčević: “Are you satisfied with the audience response?”
Ivan Vrgoč: “It has been great. We have got different writers, actors and singers. Olli Schulz has performed four times and each time he has been sold out, and all four performances have been sold out two hours after the tickets went on sale. Over 3000 people contacted us and two hours later, there were no more tickets to sell. Writer Heinz Strunk also has been sold out. Hanna Schygulla, actress, has not been sold out, but there were many people in audience. One singer has been canceled due to illness, but he will come in the February 2017, so we have prolonged Santinis events. In February we will have another three events, two concerts and a reading. It is going well ”

Jasna Lovrinčević “How do you select your guests?”
Ivan Vrgoč: “We have concentrated on Sing and Song Writers who write in German, but they are not only singers, they also read from theirs books and they have the guests. I am friend with some of them. For example, I met Olli Schulz through my daughter. My daughter and his daughter have been the best friends since their kindergarten time. We were talking if we could do something together. So it’s private contact.”

Jasna Lovrinčević: “Do the artists contact you on their own initiative?”
Ivan Vrgoč: “Always, and we are very happy about it. They usually contact us through others artists. Very popular persons are seeking contact with us. We receive a lot of e-mails. We do not select just the most popular artists, our goal is not just to fill the theater. At first we consider who is the best actor for the particular performance.”

Jasna Lovrinčević: “You do not act in Alles muss glänzen –The Homemaker, don’t you?”
Ivan Vrgoč: “I have no time. I have a lot of work to do, two children and at the moment it would be no a good idea to act.”

Jasna Lovrinčević: “Do you miss acting?”
Ivan Vrgoč: “I think so, but I have no time to think about it. When the time comes to take a roll it will be much stronger desire for acting.”

Plans for New Production

Jasna Lovrinčević: Do you already have plans for the next production. In last interview in March you announced collaboration with Larry Moss (?) ”
Ivan Vrgoč: “Alles muss glänzen- Homemaker will be performed till the end of the March 2017 and by the end of the year we are preparing three new productions with different topics. We are going to produce for the first time in Cologne. It will be production with Annette Frier who starred in Eine Familie. There are plenty of ideas, we would like to produce in other cities. In Berlin, we have good sponsors like BMW, we have a lot of contacts and we are looking for it in other cities. That is necessary, without that you can not work. We had planned to work with Larry Moss at this period of time, but because Maria Furtwängler only now has time to work with us, we had to postpone the play with Larry Moss for the winter 2017/2018. We stay in contact with him and we plan together. At the moment we don’t know exactly when it will be play with Moss. We have already a play (titel) but it could be changed. ”

Jasna Lovrinčević: ” Are all titles of the planned performances already known?”
Ivan Vrgoč: “Two performances are already certain; one comedy from London, where we were last autmn and where we met with its directors and producers and bought the rights that the comedy could come to Germany. This is the play I have planned in Cologne with Annette Frier. The second play is a book that is now being dramatized and I expect the first version for the theater before Christmas. There are plenty of plans and some of them are not only ideas but we are working on them. Others ideas are still in my mind. ”

Jasna Lovrinčević: ” Santinis– Produktion development is an unbelievable. It started with only one performance in the year 2013, and now it has a divergent development regarding the number and diversity of production.”
Ivan Vrgoč: “Yes, it becomes larger and larger. It is important to us because it gives us flexibility. If one play does not go well, with more performances we can shift the risk and money, or if one does not go well we switch to another. We are happy that five of six Santinis & Freiends productions have gone great, but normally, it can not alway to go as I would like to go.”

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